Gogoro Inc (睿能創意), an electric scooter maker and a battery swapping system provider, yesterday said it targets to launch an initial public offering (IPO) on Nasdaq via a merger with the special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Poema Global Holdings Corp in the first quarter next year.
The combination would set Gogoro’s enterprise value at US$2.35 billion, more than doubling the US$1 billion value that defines a “unicorn.”
The planned merger is also expected to provide proceeds of about US$550 million to Gogoro’s balance sheet, including an oversubscribed private investment in public equity (PIPE) of more than US$250 million and a trust of US$345 million held by Poema Global, Gogoro said.
Photo: Lisa Wang, Taipei Times
“Gogoro is a global company based in Taiwan ... From day one, we were looking to establish a global platform,” Gogoro founder and CEO Horace Luke (陸學森) told a media briefing in Taipei when asked why the company is seeking to list on a US exchange rather than a local market.
“NASDAQ was always the target,” Luke said. “Apple [Inc], Intel [Corp], Tesla [Inc] and Amazon [.com Inc] all listed on NASDAQ. ”
The PIPE is backed by strategic investors, automobile partners and existing financial investors, the company said.
Gogoro’s strategic investors include two new investors: Taiwan’s Hon Hai Technology Group (鴻海科技集團) and the GoTo Group, the largest technology group in Indonesia, it said.
The company’s other investors include Taiwan’s National Development Fund, former US vice president and environmentalist Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management LLP, Temasek Holdings Pte of Singapore, and founding investor, Samuel Yin (尹衍樑) of Ruentex Group (潤泰集團).
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) said that it invested US$20 million in Gogoro, giving Hon Hai a 0.76 percent stake, a company filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange showed.
The investment would help the company further its expansion into the electric vehicle and new energy fields, Gogoro said.
The proceeds of the IPO would allow Gogoro to expand its footprint overseas, duplicating its success in the home market, it added.
Gogoro aims to introduce its electric battery swapping services in China’s Hangzhou and Wuxi cities next quarter, leveraging its partners’ market strength, it said, adding that it plans to add five or six cities to its Chinese footprint next year.
Gogoro’s Chinese partners, Yadea Technology Group Co (雅迪科技集團) and Jiangmen Dachangjiang Group Co (DCJ, 大江集團), operate a total of more than 50,000 outlets in China, which would be ideal locations for Gogoro’s battery swapping stations, Luke said.
Gogoro plans to expand its reach into New Delhi in the second half of next year by teaming up with Hero MotoCorp Ltd, India’s biggest motorcycle maker, Luke said.
Hero operates about 7,000 retail stores, which are also potential locations for Gogoro’s electric battery swapping service, he said.
Gogoro said that its battery swapping ecosystem is an established leading solution for electric refueling of lightweight urban vehicles.
In less than five years, the company has accumulated more than US$1 billion in revenue and 400,000 battery swap subscribers.
Gogoro said that it has yet to make a profit, but that it has posted healthy earnings before an interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization margin of 55 percent, which might climb to 60 percent.
SELF-SUFFICIENCY: Alibaba is one of a number of Chinese firms that has answered Beijing’s call to invest in the development of cutting-edge technologies Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴) yesterday unveiled a new server chip that is based on advanced 5-nanometer technology, marking a milestone in China’s pursuit of semiconductor self-sufficiency. The Chinese tech giant’s newest chip is based on micro-architecture provided by the SoftBank Group Corp-owned Arm Ltd, it said. Alibaba, which is holding its annual cloud summit in Hangzhou, China, said that the chip is to be used in its own data centers in the “near future” and would not, for the time being, be sold commercially. “Customizing our own server chips is consistent with our ongoing efforts toward boosting our computing capabilities with better
Production at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp’s (TSMC, 台積電) fabs was not affected by a fire at a construction site for a water recycling facility in the Southern Taiwan Science Park in Tainan. The world’s biggest contract chipmaker said that the construction site is not adjacent to its fabs, which were unaffected. CTCI Corp (中鼎工程) is responsible for the construction of the facility, which it is to operate itself once it is completed, the chipmaker said. The facility caught fire at about 11am, and the blaze was brought under control about 30 minutes after the incident was reported, the Southern Taiwan Science Park Administration
AGGRESSIVE STEP: With the new processors, Apple is aiming at the high-end chips Intel has provided for the MacBook Pro and other top-end Macs for about 15 years Apple Inc on Monday took the most aggressive step yet to strip Intel Corp chips from its computers, announcing more powerful homegrown Mac processors alongside a total revamp of its MacBook Pro laptop computers. The company showcased the chips at an event called “Unleashed,” which also included its latest audio products. The new components, called the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, are 70 percent faster than its M1 predecessors, Apple said. It also unveiled a redesigned MacBook Pro, adding larger screens, MagSafe charging and better resolution. With the new processors and devices, Apple is aiming squarely at the high-end chips that Intel has
‘NO NEGOTIATING’: Acer spokesperson Steven Chung said customers in India whose data were affected were informed, while no user data in Taiwan was compromised PC vendor Acer Inc (宏碁) yesterday confirmed that it was hacked twice in one week — once in Taiwan and once in India — but denied any damage or leak of customer data. Acer spokesperson Steven Chung (鐘興維) said that the customers in India whose data were affected were informed, while no user data in Taiwan was compromised. The hackers have tried to initiate communication, but Acer has not responded, Chung said. “We are not going to negotiate and it is not company policy to pay ransom to hackers,” he said. Upon detecting the hack, Acer initiated all security protocols and conducted